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Big Apple Jazz Blog

Bills Place

Bill Saxton – Harlem’s Saxa Claus – Streaming Holiday Cheer

I met Bill Saxton at St. Nick’s Pub one Friday night in 1997 during one of his weekly gigs.  Over the years we have remained friendly, our lives intersecting significantly in the early 2000’s when we each opened a Harlem jazz spot within a few blocks of the other.   Bill’s Place, 148 West 133rd…

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December 23, 2020

Loving Tribute to the Harlem Underground Jazz Scene

We wanted to share this video of photos and clips from our time on the Harlem jazz scene.  It covers the underground clubs and magnificent players we’ve been enjoying during our over 20 years in business. Some close friends: Gary Samuels, Alex Layne, Linda Carr, Samuel Hargress Jr.,  were lost at the start of the…

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October 9, 2020

Resurrection of our old NYC Jazz Club Bible

Some of our long-time visitors, (we’ve been around since the turn of the century), have been missing our big list of NYC jazz clubs, and the content we used to include about each club. As it turns out this information was lingering somewhere in the dark web ready to be resurrected – so here it is.  Some of the information needs to be updated, so take it with a grain of salt, and do some further research regarding music policy, cover charges, set times, etc.   Please help us update this list with new intel: [email protected] I’ll spend some time each day making this a more useful place to look for current information, so feel free to bookmark this page for those times you are seeking an up-to-date jazz guide. There is also some great historical data.  Where you see…

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December 2, 2019

The Harlem Jazz Scene – a retrospective on the day after St. Nick’s Pub fire

Sugar Hill Jazz Quartet at St Nick’s Pub at the turn of the century. photo credit Gordon Polatnick We woke up to the devastating news of a deadly fire last night in Harlem on the set of a Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Leslie Mann movie called Motherless Brooklyn.  With that kind…

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March 23, 2018

Cheap NYC Jazz Clubs

New York City: Affordable Live Jazz Clubs In Manhattan (Where you can hear the greats from Greenwich Village to Harlem) By Gordon Polatnick I started Big Apple Jazz Tours with the understanding that jazz is at its best when musicians and audiences are sharing an intimate, interactive experience that feels like it could go on forever, and that something unexpected is bound to happen.  There are wonderful, famous Manhattan clubs like the Village Vanguard, Birdland, Blue Note, Dizzy’s, Iridium, Jazz Standard, and Smoke, which regularly present legendary performers in intimate settings but must clear the house between sets – stifling the spontaneity to some extent.  These are great venues but they don’t tell the whole story.  Jazz fans in New York have become used to plenty of options that you may not be aware of yet. New York has been home to the majority of legendary jazz…

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June 22, 2017